Manna House Staff
We are so proud of our lovely staff at Manna House who all work so hard and feel so passionately for our clients. And, thanks to our recent Big Lottery grant, there are a few new faces on the team. We thought you might like to meet them.
Andrea Aldridge is our Chief Officer. She has worked all her life in the charity sector. She’s been a carer, trainer, trustee, school governor, service user, volunteer, manager, fundraiser, researcher, and grant maker in the US and UK. She is a wife and mother of three, as well as an adoring chicken owner. Andrea loves her work at Manna House, where she is the Chief Officer, and feels privileged to work with the staff, volunteers and clients here.
Penny Severn is the Outreach and Development Worker here at Manna House. She’s been a part of the Manna House family since 2009 and took up this post in 2012. Penny spent time living in Africa teaching AIDS awareness in Malawi before going to theological college to train in church ministry and after that training as a social worker, specialising in homelessness. Penny lives in Kendal and is married to Matt and has a cat called Bilbo and a gorgeous daughter Molly.
Angela Powis is our Benefits and Employment Adviser. After a varied career including catering, special needs support and child minding, she completed a post grad in advice and guidance and was then based in job centres and outreach centres on various Back to Work contracts supporting clients into work and education. At Manna House the main thrust of her job here is to make sure clients are getting the benefits they are entitled to and liaising with DWP and other agencies.
Lesley Campbell is our Housing Adviser. Originally from Middlesborough, Lesley came to Manna House with a first degree in Psychology and Counselling and a Master’s degree in the field of Criminology. Lesley has a thorough and kind approach to work and a great ‘Can Do’ attitude. Her knowledge of housing law and the resources available is top notch and we’re lucky to have her with us! She’s proud to be a single parent and is so proud of her daughter Jade!
Zsuzsanna Fabian is our Finance Officer. Zsuzsi is a multi-talented staff member who is not just adept at counting our cash, she’s a skilled cook and a vital part of our daily operations. She also helps Manna House by picking up donations of food. Away from work, Zsuzsi has now completed her Level 3 diploma in accounting at Kendal College and is working towards her Level 4, and she is a nature lover and enjoys going for walks.
Chris Holland is our Client Support Worker. Originally from South Liverpool Chris has had a varied career from hospitality to criminal justice and joined us after a period of working as a mentor for Cumbria & Lancashire Probation. He has varied interests from watching boxing to Liverpool FC and has lived in Cumbria for 15 years. He says his favourite part of the job is meeting new people, helping in any way he can or signposting them in the right direction. He has two rules in life: Never ask a starfish for directions; and Always leave people better than you found them. Come and say hello… the kettle is always on.
Nela Geuer is our Learning Kitchen Manager (Head Chef). She qualified as a chef in 1992 in Germany, moved to England in 1997 and now lives in Cumbria. She has worked in the fields of catering and education, including 4 years as Community Food Worker for the NHS, facilitating all sorts of food and health activities. To relax she enjoys music, dancing and DJing as well as doing yoga, walking in the fells and spending time in her garden and allotment.
Clare Neal is our Learning Kitchen Manager (Skills Lead). She has spent the last 24 years as a primary school teacher with a special interest in Food and Nutrition, literacy and learning creatively. She is a wife and mother of three and is rather fond of making pies and swimming (not at the same time, no one likes a soggy bottom!). She is enjoying sharing her Yorkshire positivity and tenacity with the Manna House family.
Lois Sparling is our Winter Shelter and Volunteer Coordinator. Her background is in publishing and communications – and a wide range of voluntary work. She loves meeting and working with our many volunteers and says it is a particular privilege to be part of the Kendal Winter Shelter project.
Jonathan Brook has been involved with Manna House since it was set up in 2002. He was one of the founding trustees, before becoming its first director in 2003. Away from Manna House, Jonathan is a local councillor and involved in a number of church and community activities. He shares his expertise with us part time now as our fundraising consultant as well as Project Manager for the acquisition and refurbishment of our new building.